WIUM Tristates Public Radio

A Little Bit of Art, A Little Bit of History

Jan 25, 2015

A historical marker will be placed next to a former piece of playground equipment in Macomb.

The red rocket in 2003, before the slide was removed.
Credit Rich Egger

The red rocket slide was installed during the 1960s.

“One of the reasons why it felt near and dear is that I remember that as a kid,” said park board member Pat Sowers, who came up with the idea for the plaque.

“It’s a part of Glenwood Park and I’m so glad we kept it.”

The red rocket was decommissioned as a piece of playground equipment a few years ago.  The Park District said it did not meet today’s safety standards.  The slide was removed but the district kept the rocket part of the piece in place.

“I hope other people have the same memories and other people can enjoy it,” said Sowers, who called the red rocket a piece of art.

The stone shelter in Glenwood Park was a WPA project from the Great Depression.
Credit Rich Egger

The red rocket slide is not the only historic structure in Glenwood Park. The stone shelter dates back to the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s. It was put together with parts of streets that were being rebuilt in town at the time.

“They go hand-in-hand,” Sowers said of the shelter and the red rocket. “That stone shelter is an icon in itself. That was a different time.”

The park board voted 4-0 in favor of placing the historical marker next to the red rocket. President John Hemingway noted that not all of the local history in Macomb is on the courthouse square.